Dec 28, 2012 4:00am EST
. welcome back. apart from obama winning a second term, new heads of state have been elected in france, in egypt and japan, south korea and russia. next year, key votes will be held in italy and germany where people will be heading to the polls in a regional election in january. our guest is saying that the vote in lower saxony should be seen as a litmus test for german chancellor angela merkel. a litmus test, alistair, do you think that we can look ahead and see whether or not merkel is going to do well or poorly when she goes to the polls? >> i think markets will be tempted to do that. the key point here, louisa, is that the balance of power in sacksny is also a parallel to the balance of power in germany. it does look like the two main opposition parties could seize power from cdu in lower saxony, despite the fact that they're going to win the plurality. less than 5% in all likelihood, which means they don't get seats in the regional parliament. now, we could see that pattern repeated at the federal level. but at the moment, i have to say opinion polls in germany at the federal leve
Dec 27, 2012 4:00am EST
better. there's a reason why obama is leading this thing right now. he won the election. he now has the right, morally and politically to force his version of a deal upon people. we also have to consider the dynamics of congress. you know, boehner is going to be coming up to a speaker election january 3rd. all it will require is 17 republicans to overthrow him if they don't support him. that is a tiny number. you could argue this is inherently unstable. you could argue that maybe we're going to get it. some talk about bringing him an outside speaker like john huntsman. and i don't see that happening. but you get a sense of anything could happen in this system. >> and maybe it's a benefit. maybe in the long-term, but certainly right now there does seem to be a sense that it is a small group of people holding the rest of the process hostage. >> oh, yes. i'm trying to find something good to say about something. because the alternative is china, you know? i'd rather have a -- >> is that the case, though? is there not an alternative that you see and other examples as you look whether it'
Dec 31, 2012 4:00am EST
to go to the republicans. they've had a brain freeze since the election. they have no strategy. they don't know what they want, and they haven't decided what they want. but if i had to fault president obama, i would say sometimes he has governed like a visitor from a morally superior civilization. he comes in here, and he will not -- he'll talk with boehner. he won't talk with the other republicans. he hasn't built their trust. boehner actually made a pretty serious concession, $800 billion in tax revenues. probably willing to go up on rates. but the trust wasn't there to get that done. if the president wants to get stuff done over the next four years, it's got to be a lot more than making the intellectual concessions. it's got to get to the place where republicans say, ok, we'll take a risk. this guy won't screw us. they don't feel that right now. >> chuck, just your reading of the immediate news that's going to be made over the course of today and tomorrow, again, what i think is significant, the president is saying we either get this deal now, or we'll go over the cliff. we'll come ba